Roanna Hall

Roanna Hall




Dr Roanna Hall






Clinical Research Fellow

Honorary SpR, Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine


BSc (Med Sci) Pharmacology - 1st Class, University of Edinburgh, 2000
MBChB Hons, University of Edinburgh, 2003
MRCP (UK), Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh), 2006



0131 242 6481


0131 242 6370


Geriatric Medicine Research Office, Room S1642, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SA


I was born and brought up in Kent, and came to Edinburgh in 1997 to start my undergraduate medical degree. I undertook an intercalated BSc in Pharmacology in 2000 and graduated with my MBChB in 2003. I have always had an interest in research, and enjoyed two summer research projects in the then Clinical Biochemistry Unit in the old Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, investigating the second messenger signalling systems of ACTH. I completed my general professional training and Membership of the Royal College of Physicians, then secured a training position in my chosen specialty of Geriatric Medicine. I have always hoped to forge a career in Academic medicine, and gained the Dhole Research Training Fellowship from Research into Ageing and the British Geriatric Society in November 2008, which I started in May 2009. During this three-year fellowship I am also training for a PhD. I live in Leith with my fiancé.

Broad Areas of interest:




My principal research interest is the pathophysiology and neuropsychology of delirium, and its relationship with post-delirium cognitive and functional decline, and dementia. I have also contributed to work examining the predictors and correlates of edentulism in healthy older people.


I enjoy taking part in the undergraduate teaching programme, lecturing on Delirium and Dementia and Drugs in the Elderly. I also contribute to the supervision of SSC4 students undertaking research projects in the department.


Methodological skills

I am becoming increasingly experienced in delirium assessment, particularly the assessment of attention and inattention, and assessment of cognition. I hope soon to improve my laboratory-based skills.


Hobbies & interests

I enjoy the cinema, reading, music, photography and cooking for friends.

Ongoing research projects

Elevated cortisol, delirium and cognitive decline in older patients with hip fracture
This is a prospective, observational cohort study of 120 patients over the age of 60 admitted with hip fracture. The hypothesis is that abnormal responses to stress in the elderly and in patients with dementia leads to persistent high cortisol levels and that this, coupled with inflammation, may precipitate and sustain delirium and lead to later cognitive decline. Participants are assessed peri-operatively for delirium, and levels of cortisol and pro-inflammatory markers are measured. Participants are followed-up to one year to seek evidence of persistent delirium and cognitive or functional decline, and persistent high cortisol levels and abnormal inflammation.

Publications (2003 onwards):

Starr JM, Hall RJ, MacIntyre S, Deary IJ, Whalley LJ. Predictors and correlates of edentulism in the Healthy Old People in Edinburgh (HOPE) study. Gerodontology 2008; 25: 199-204

MacLullich AMJ, Beaglehole A, Hall RJ, Meagher DJ. Delirium and long term cognitive impairment. International Review of Psychiatry, Vol 21 (pp30-42), 2009

Starr JM, Hall RJ. Predictors and correlates of edentulism in healthy older people. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 2010 Jan; 13(1): 19-23


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